Breaking traditions

As my previous post outlined; I am currently working a self-initiated project concerning concepts of identity in Western Canada. At the moment I am exploring part one of my project – the conscious placement of traditional First Peoples’ totem pole carvings in nontraditional urban environments. The totem pole originates from Haida Gwaii (aka Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia and were usually erected during lavish potlatch festivities. Following American and European settlement, Christian missionaries reviled the totem pole as an object of heathen worship and urged converts to cease production and destroy existing poles, leading the the potlatch ban from 1884 to 1951. Today, however, totem pole carvings appear throughout cities in British Columbia. Their placement among modern architecture and urban cityscapes is one that I constantly observe with curiosity.  To me, their placement in these environments is a misplacement.

To simulate my views of misplacement I am taking a new direction of my photographic presentation. Replacing the common practice of digitally printing photographs on paper and then matting, framing and placing behind glass, I am trying something new. I am making ink-jet prints, then coating these prints in a thick layer of acrylic gel. Once this gel has dried (1-2 days) I soak the image in water for 10-20 minutes and then scrape the paper from the back of the gel and the images remains in the gel. I then stretch the gel skin across a wooden cradle panel and glue it down. The process of this image transfer resonates with the concept behind the images; breaking traditions.

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One Response to “Breaking traditions”

  1. […] Voila – transfer complete. Please see this link  for photographs of the process. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", […]

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